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Democrats Thinking Dynasty After 15-10 Win

Bill Clark/Roll Call
Jubilant Democrats pose with the coveted Roll Call trophy after snapping their eight-game losing streak last week. Click here for more photos.

After losing eight straight games, Democrats are already saying last week’s win in the 48th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game is the beginning of a dynasty.

“It’s our turn,” said Rep. Mike Doyle (Pa.), the Democratic manager. “Unless they pick up some new recruits in the next election, we’re going to do to them what they’ve been doing to us for the last decade.”

In an interview Friday, the Democratic skipper reflected on his team’s surprising 15-10 win last Wednesday at Nationals Park and on Democratic chances in the future. This year’s contest, which drew 4,297 fans, raised $140,000 for the Washington Literacy Council and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.

With their win, the Democrats take a 1-0 lead in the battle for the coveted Roll Call trophy.

According to the game’s official box score, both teams had 10 hits; Republicans committed 4 errors while Democrats had 2.

Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.), the GOP’s starting pitcher, threw 75 strikes out of 122 pitches, ending the game with six strikeouts and four walks. He gave up six earned runs.

Rep. Joe Barton (Texas), the Republican manager, brought Rep. Adam Putnam (Fla.) in to pitch briefly during the third inning, but the results weren’t what the GOP was hoping for. The Sunshine State hurler walked five and gave up six earned runs.

Doyle downplayed Putnam’s role in handing his team the win.

“The idea that they would’ve left John Shimkus in there and there would’ve been a different result ... I don’t necessarily agree with that,” Doyle said. “John Shimkus was completely out of gas. I don’t subscribe to the fact that we dodged a bullet because Adam came in.”

“It wasn’t like we weren’t hitting John Shimkus,” he said.

Barton’s office did not respond to an interview request for this story. Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), a Congressional game veteran, said Putnam’s entrance into the game had everything to do with the GOP’s loss.

Wamp also said his team’s bullpen was sent into disarray when Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) took himself out of the game after going public with an extramarital affair just a day earlier.

“Ensign was our backup pitcher, so obviously that was a big blow to us,” Wamp said. “I’m not even so sure [Putnam] wanted to go in, and I’m not sure Shimkus wanted to come out. ... That obviously was a mistake.”

“I obviously appreciate Coach Barton’s desire to play everybody and not take it too seriously,” Wamp continued. “But I can assure you Mike Doyle was not going to substitute just to be fair to people — he was playing to win.”

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